I learned how to make chicken noodle soup when I was still crushing pretty hard on my husband, before we were officially "together." He got sick for the first time in forever, and was....well, acting like boys do when they get sick.
My granddad had given me a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for Christmas that year (what I wouldn't do to know where the heck that thing went!), and when I learned my hunk-a-burnin-love wasn't feeling well, I went home to make him some soup from my BHG cookbook... as soon as I got out of seventh hour.
Its been a favorite of his ever since, because to him, food is love. I think he realized I was head-over-heels for him when I went out of my way to make this, then ride the bus to his house with a giant pot of soup - and that feeling remains. So I could make it every week, and he just smiles and gobbles it up.
In the past year or so, I've started occasionally adding dumplings to the soup instead or rice or noodles. My mom made chicken and dumplings when I was little and I remember picking out the dumplings and scarfing them down. I could have sustained life on those things. I'm a total starch-o-holic.
I'll start by giving you my basic recipe for chicken soup. This is a very hearty soup, almost a stew. I include rice/pasta in the recipe, and the starch from the rice or pasta (since we don't rinse it) thickens the broth - it is very filling! If it's dumplings you want, the broth will be more like a broth - liquidy. I suggest omitting the rice/pasta if you're going with dumplings - there's enough starch in the dumplings, trust me!